A literally packed FreedM Studio crowd witnessed a
stunning set from Nitin Sawhney and guests. The
award-winning composer led his six piece band through
a set that covered more musical territory than
probably any other at the festival.
An impressive and eclectic range of vocal talent
joined him; Laura Izibor provided a sassy Nu-Soul
twist, while hip hop folkie Fink took things in a
rather different direction on a blissed out version of
Roy Ayer's 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine'. Natacha
Atlas almost literally stopped the show with a
breathtaking version of 'Black is the Colour'. Reena
Bharswaj also managed the same trick with the sublime
Sawhney's latin tinged guitar led the mainly acoustic
instrumentation from crisp, exotic soul to bossa nova
to Indian classical to funk and a few more points in
between. Three percussionists (tabla, kit drums and
latin percussion) ensured a constantly bubbling
energy, while cello and Indian flute provided a huge
range of moods and colours.
Will Young stepped up to a rapturous reception for the
wistful 'Home', but the climax came with a four way
human beatbox/tabla/vocal battle that had to be seen
to be believed. Even then judging from the open mouths
of some of the audience, they didn't quite believe it.
A standing ovation followed.